Russia’s President Vladimir Putin vowed to safeguard peace and security as the country marked Victory Day with a massive military parade.
More than 100 tanks, mobile missile launches and other military hardware rambled down the Red Square in Moscow on Thursday, while 68 military aircraft screamed above, to mark 68 years since the defeat of Hitler’s Germany in World War Two.
“We remember what the tragedy of war means and will do everything so that nobody will ever dare to unleash war again, threaten our children, our homes and our land. We will do everything to strengthen security on the planet,” Mr Putin said addressing over 11,000 elite troops lined up for the parade in Moscow’s Red Square on Thursday.
The pledge to ward off military threats had a special ring this year, coming a day after Mr Putin called on the government to prepare for a new war - against terrorism.
Mr Putin told a Security Council meeting on May 8 that Russia must strengthen its defences for the expected spillover of extremist violence from Afghanistan into post-Soviet Central Asia and Russia’s southern regions.
The Russian leader warned that the NATO forces “have not yet achieved a breakthrough in the fight against terrorist and radical groups” in Afghanistan and the security situation in Afghanistan was likely to deteriorate following the pullout of the U.S.-led combat troops.
“We need to strengthen the security system in the strategic southern area, including its military component,” Mr Putin said.
“I will repeat. There is every reason to believe that we may face a worsening of the situation in the very near future. International terrorist and radical groups do not hide their plans to export instability, and will certainly try to extend subversive activities to neighbouring states,” Mr Putin said.
Last month Moscow announced plans to set up a Special Operations Command, Russia’s version of the U.S. SOCOM for anti-terrorist and other missions outside national territory.